X-ACADEMY

Morven experience: Challenging my own expectations of offshore wind

20221012 XODUS STAFF 020
Louise Davies
Xccelerator

When I secured a secondment on the Morven Offshore Wind Farm Project, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The role was centred around training and skills, and with a technically focused engineering background, this was an area I had never imagined myself working in throughout my time at X-Academy.

The main objective of my role was to assist in defining a process and strategy for how bp/EnBW could build on its existing training programme to ready prepare the next generation of skilled workers for a career in offshore wind.

The overarching commitment bp/EnBW made in their ScotWind bid was to expand its current support for Scottish schools, colleges and universities, as well as investing in a new offshore wind apprenticeship programme. My role involved research into existing training initiatives and building up a picture of the current landscape of offerings available in the UK. I regularly fed updates back during stakeholder meetings and workshops. After evaluating all the options, I presented my recommendations to line management for them to integrate into their overarching strategy.

The highlight of the secondment for me was my trip to London at the end of June for UK Wind Week. I met and spoke with MPs at a drink reception hosted by RenewableUK in what was a fantastic opportunity to interact with key stakeholders face-to-face. It was great to network with other professionals in the offshore wind space and discuss the impact of bottlenecks in the industry such as skills shortages and how we tackle them.

Throughout my secondment, I worked closely with Morven’s stakeholder engagement manager, Chris Whitehead, which allowed me to gain valuable insights into the importance of early community engagement and communication with key stakeholders. I feel privileged to have been invited to several events alongside Chris, such as speaking at Stirling University where I got to share my professional journey into the offshore wind industry with students studying for a master's degree in environmental science.  

Having been a student not too long ago, I felt I could give a recent and representative account of the pathways available into the sector. Speaking with the students afterwards and being able to offer my advice was incredibly rewarding.

 

I believe I feel so positive about my secondment experience because of the people I worked alongside during my time there. My colleagues at Morven were incredibly kind and generous with their time. As an emerging industry, everyone in offshore wind is still learning and my colleagues made a great effort to integrate me into the team which made me feel incredibly valued.

 

Reflecting on my secondment, being open-minded to the opportunity back in February was key to providing me with six great months of experience in a new discipline in offshore wind that I hadn’t been familiar with before. I gained valuable insights into life with an offshore wind developer, and this was a fantastic step in my X-Academy journey.  

 

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